On Wednesday I went to see Romeo & Juliet and, to quote Patrick Mulcahy, PSF's producing artistic director, "It's the play we all think we know." He couldn't have been more right in my case.
Here's what I knew going in...two kids from rival families fall in love, and they both end up killing themselves. But it is so much more than that. Seeing it performed at a preview night was an eye-opening treat and gave me a genuine appreciation for the depth of the real story.
Walking into the theater I was amazed by the set itself. It is so realistic you could forget you're in Center Valley. I was surprised at first by the use of modern clothing on the 16th century characters but as the show started I soon forgot all about that...I was sucked into the plot.
David Kenner as Romeo and Betsy Mugavero as Juliet were perfect. They look like a young couple who would instantly fall in love. The rest of the cast executed their roles flawlessly and brought the story line from its comedic start to tragic finish. I especially enjoyed the ironic dance scene!
There is a lot of violence played out between the rival families so I understand why director Rick Sordelet is also listed as the "fight director." Coordinating the fencing scenes, without anyone actually getting hurt, let alone killed, must have been difficult, but everyone managed to be back on stage unscathed for the final bows and well-deserved applause.
Will you be going to rediscover Romeo & Juliet at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival before its run ends on August 8?